Noor Toraif, PhD, MA
The intersection of the child welfare and juvenile legal systems
Criminal legal system
Youth and emerging adult reentry
Dr. Noor Toraif conducts qualitative and mixed methods community-engaged research to understand the experiences of youth and emerging adults at the intersections of the child welfare, juvenile, and criminal legal systems. She is interested in understanding the causes and consequences of multi-system involvement, including the differential impacts for youth, emerging adults, and communities of color. In her current research, Dr. Toraif combines phenomenological methods and administrative data to understand youths’ trajectories into the juvenile legal system and during reentry. Her secondary interests include youth-engaged and youth participatory action research, the developmental impacts of system involvement, social welfare policy impacting youth and families, and social theory.
Throughout her research areas, Dr. Toraif is committed to involving youth and emerging adults as key partners in the research process, both to ground inquiry in their experiences and priorities and to provide them with tools and resources for organizing, advocacy, and policy change.
Dr. Toraif received her PhD from the Boston University School of Social Work, where she was also a Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellow, a Society for Social Work and Research Doctoral Fellow, and a Harvard Rappaport Public Policy Fellow. She earned her MA in Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University, specializing in children’s and families’ programs and policies and graduated from Boston University with a BA in Neuroscience and a BA in Psychology and Philosophy.
Department(s)Standing Faculty | Faculty
Program(s)MSW | MSSP | PhD
Research Areas(s)Children, Women, Family Well-Being | Identity, Immigration, Racism | Mass Incarceration, Homelessness, Substance Use